The AMD64 platform is leading the industry to pervasive 64-bit computing.
The AMD Opteron™ processor, the AMD Athlon™ processor family, and AMD Turion™ 64 mobile technology comprise the AMD64 family.
- AMD Opteron processor - servers and workstations
- AMD Athlon processor family - desktops and notebooks
- AMD Turion 64 mobile technology - notebooks
AMD64 is designed to enable simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing with no degradation in performance. With Direct Connect Architecture, AMD64 processors address and help eliminate the real challenges and bottlenecks of system architectures because everything is directly connected to the central processing unit.
Explore AMD's 64-bit leadership.
1969-1978: Before the Microchip
AMD was built as a company that developed its own proprietary solutions and designs, but also licensed and built chips based on the technology of other companies.
1978-1990: A 16-bit Party with an 8-bit Detour
AMD was licensed to produce hardware built to the x86 specification, including rights to produce 286 and 286-derived hardware.
1991-1996: The 32-bit Era
The launch of Windows® 3.0 in 1990 began a new era in desktop computing. Windows 3.0 and 3.11 shone on a 386, and AMD's Am386DX was a huge success. The Am486DX, the Am486®, and the K5 microprocessor designs followed in the next few years. In 1996, AMD acquired NexGen and its CPU designs, including the Nexgen NX686 CPU for Socket 7.
1997-1999: The K6 Family
Released in 1997, the AMD-K6 processor provided competitive performance in business and desktop applications without choking on floating-point math-a critical component of gaming and some multimedia tasks. Next came the AMD-K6®-2 processor, which added support for SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) instructions and moved on to an advanced form of the original Socket 7, now called Super Socket 7. This new form factor added support for a 100 MHz FSB, and kept the aging platform standard competitive with other designs. The AMD-K6-2 400 reused an obsolete multiplier setting, allowing it to run at 400 MHz even on older motherboards. And finally, the AMD-K6-3 added a 256 kB on-die L2-cache to the K6-2 core, resulting in a significant performance increase.
1999-2003: The AMD Athlon™ Processor Cometh
The AMD-K7 processor (later known as the AMD Athlon™ processor) was different from anything AMD had ever built. In place of the AMD-K6's single non-pipelined FPU unit, AMD built a multiple-pipelined FPU capable of executing multiple floating-point instructions in parallel. AMD was first-to-market with a 1 GHz CPU, and the first desktop manufacturer to ship desktop CPUs in volume at that speed. Later generations introduced on-die L2 cache at full processor clock. SSE instructions were brought on board with the AMD Athlon XP processor, and AMD became the first mainstream CPU manufacturer to support DDR memory in the fall of 2000. 2001 brought the introduction of the 760MP/760MPX chipsets, and AMD again offered a highly competitive, attractively priced multiprocessor server solution in the form of the AMD Athlon MP processor.
2003-present: The AMD64 Era
AMD64 is the name given to AMD's 64-bit extension of the x86 architecture. The value of a processor with a wider data path (8, 16, 32, 64 bits) is that it increases the amount of data that can be handled and processed inside the CPU during a single cycle. AMD's current eighth generation technology is more than just a 64-bit extension, however. When compared to either seventh generation AMD Athlon™ XP or other competitive solutions, the AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron™ processors offer strong performance, thanks to the addition of SSE2 support and an onboard integrated memory controller. The AMD Athlon 64 processor also uses HyperTransport™ Technology, a point-to-point bus architecture AMD developed and licenses through the HyperTransport™ Technology Consortium.
Why We Need 64-bit CPUs
The release of Windows® XP Professional x64 Edition will jump-start 64-bit adoption. But the full potential of a 64-bit system may not be recognized for a few years. When the industry shifted from 16 to 32 bits, it took nearly a decade. Only now are we beginning to see software that takes advantage of 64-bit computing. In the not-too-distant future, 64-bit CPUs will be ubiquitous enough that a game developer, application author, or OS manufacturer will design a product that doesn't just use a 64-bit system for enhancements, but utilizes its capabilities as a fundamental part of the end product. The AMD64 technology does that.